National Geographic : 1964 Jul
ging roads, through miles of mountainous timber, then across open spaces of young second growth. Finally, with dramatic sud denness, we came to the bright waters of Redwood Creek. The view inspired pure silence. Throughout the world, it has been my good fortune to see many dramatic panoramas: Fuji by moonlight, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal-each is superlative in its own way. Yet for sheer impact, the view of the magnificent grove and Redwood Creek Valley compares with any one of these. Viewing Easy Along Redwood Creek Here crystal waters flex into a sweeping bend of stream with a margin of gravel beach. And from the rich flatlands just beyond rise the heavy red columns of living trees that soar up, up-as eyes and spirits lift-into the deep sky itself. Other groves of coast red woods present a viewing problem; the higher trees often crowd far into the forest, where it is impossible to see them from base to crown. But here the redwoods stand forth in their full vertical splendor. We crossed the stream on bobbing rubber rafts and scuffed ashore. The tallest of the grove's trees was a curiously forked redwood. Perhaps the shorter trunk had braced the taller one for its prodigious growth. Watery ripples of reflected sunlight danced on the massive lower trunk, and blackened bark told of long-dead forest fires and the healing force of nature. All day we explored the idyllic grove. When the surveyors' computations were com plete, we returned to the great forked tree: It was the new world's champion-367.8 feet tall! I learned much about forests that day. Howard Libbey told of his company's tree farm techniques: the way helicopters are used to reseed logged land, the building of dams to prevent erosion, the new milling techniques that make better use of each log. Unsurprisingly, it was Mr. Libbey who provided one of the truly stirring moments of that memorable day on Redwood Creek. Af ter a long view of the grove, he turned to me with great feeling. "Someday," he said, "I hope this grove can be opened to the public and preserved for future generations." * * * Sunlight and shadow dapple forest foliage beside Redwood Creek as Arthur B. Hanson, General Counsel of the National Geographic Society, emerges from the grove of giant trees. KODACHROMEBY MELVILLE BELL GROSVENOR(C N.G.S.